"Traits très mode - French fashion illustration now"

The first ever French fashion exhibition in Colombo was held exclusively from the 6th to the 10th of December at Crescat Boulevard, The Shopping Mall.

This exhibition, which has already been successfully displayed around the world (recently in Indonesia and Singapore), displayed 60 works of art from 15 French fashion illustrators that depict the latest trends in the French fashion industry.


"Traits très mode - French fashion illustration now" is a traveling exhibit making its way to Manila via Cultures France and showcases a diverse group of works from 15 internationally renowned emblematic fashion illustrators, graphic designers, and animators.


A total of 60 illustrations/panels was mounted in Plexiglas for the exhibition. It was a great privilege of the Sri Lankan Fashion arena to get down this internationally recognized exhibition to Colombo.

According to Cédric Morisset and Hélène Convert, the curators of this show, the new style of illustration is no longer a mere visual representation of fashion objects.
Rather, it transforms the mental worlds and fantasies embodied by those objects into images, while in turn; each new image nourishes the next of fashion’s ephemeral cycles.
As illustrators have become ever more closely bound up with the dictates of fashion’s time cycles, their creativeness and diversity has never been so rich. This show has already received acclaim in various venues across Europe, proving that art and fashion have successfully converged to develop a high form of image art, and new grounds for modern clothes designers and visual artists.


The last five years have seen unprecedented developments in French fashion illustration. Throughout the 1990s, the genre has been losing momentum in France, as it sought without much success to develop new codes, attempting to draw on illustrative arts that were only just beginning to find new forms of narrative and aesthetic expression. The eclipse of fashion illustration also has to do with the pre-eminence of photography throughout the 1990s. Fashion rushed into the pitch behind the contemporary arts - which was enjoying huge commercial success at the time - finding an ideal medium to express its multiple fantasies in every shade of black and white and colour. But soon after 2000, fashion illustration finally came out of the wilderness. Tiring of the glossy provocativeness of the “chic porn”, the French and international press turned to the new, daring approaches of the thirty-something generation. Magazine editors rediscovered a grittier, funkier world that sometimes harked by to the 1980s, but above all, they reacquired a taste for strongly outline fashion drawings that quickly hit the spotlight on the international scene.


But the movement wasn’t only in the press. Although it was spearheaded by magazines as they responded to continual demands for visual input, the trend hit much broader sections of the fashion scene. The big sportswear brand were quick to tap into the creative and commercial potential of a new pool of talent, while fashion illustration as a form of applied art has long been a recurrent code in the world of luxury fashion. Gradually, a new landscape is taking shape in the graphic art of fashion illustration, a landscape peopled by images bordering on the contemporary arts, street art, ever-present photography and new technologies, yet never abandoning its demanding aesthetic heritage - a development that is shaping the unique artistic creation of contemporary fashion illustration. Now, the opportunity has arisen for the Sri lankan fashion lovers to experience these latest trends of Fashions and fashion illustrations free of charge at the Crescat boulevard, Colombo from the 8th to the 10th of December.


•Charles ANASTASE • Ludivine BILLAUD • Carlotta • •Alexandra Compain-TISSIER • Jean-Philippe DELHOMME • • Florence DEYGAS • Iris De MOÜY • Felix LAHRER • • Emmanuelle MAFILLE • Stephane MANEL • Monsieur Z • Cassandre MONTORIOL • • Nawel • Marie PERRON • Cédric RIVRAIN •


As an illustrator for APC, Anastase lives and works in Paris. His work as an illustrator is part of a wider interest in fashion, since he is also a designer for his own company called “A Frog With a Cigarette Ltd”.

Ludivine BILLAUD

Graduate of La Cambre School, Brussels (textiles, styling, print images) and the Higher School of
Decorative Arts in Paris (visual communication), Billaud has been developing a variety of cross- disciplinary projects over several years, combining graphics, illustration and scenography in both 2D and 3D.


After her Fine Arts studies, then with Studio Berçot. Assistant to Marie Rucki, Carlotta works as a freelance illustrator and has created her own vision of women’s fashion that carries through her drawings and a whole range of accessories. Carlotta has been established as one of the most emblematic figures in French fashion illustration.

Alexandra Compain-TISSIER

Graduated from the Higher National School of Plastic Arts in Cergy, France, Tissier works from photographic collages and creates images combining drawings in black and white and watercolour. She published her first collection of drawings, ‘Dumbo Alex’ with Flux publications, and her first video clip with the graphics agency Adress pour the group TTC/Ninja Tune. She has sold illustrations to private collections and to a great many international stores.

Jean-Philippe DELHOMME

Graduated from the Higher National School of Decorative Arts, Delhomme first published a series of illustrations “Polaroids de Jeunes Filles” with Glamour magazine (France). He has also exhibited his work in Paris and Tokyo and published numerous books featuring a clever and humorous interplay between text and illustrations. His work centres on the theme of appearance, of staging and cultural postures. He is also a writer and has published three novels.

Florence DEYGAS

Studied film animation at the Gobelins School, Deygas works with Olivier Kuntzel (Kuntzel and Deygas) since 1990. Based in Paris, Kuntzel and Deygas work worldwide with their team of collaborations from the fields of design and animation. Having pursued their two separate careers alongside their share work, Deygas and Kuntzel are now experimenting with ways of working on personal creations as a duel.

Iris De MOÜY

Graduate of Ecole Supérieure des Arts Graphiques of Paris and UIAH (University of Art and Design) of Helsinki, De Moüy launched into fashion illustration after meeting Japanese fashion designer Shinichiro Arakawa. De Moüy is a popular name among big houses such as BEAMS, Journal Standard in Japan, Cacharel, Hermès, La Grande Épicerie.


An illustrator, photographer, painter and interior designer for boutiques, Lahrer sees himself as a “jack of all trades”. His illustrations are a patchwork of photographs taken during his numerous journeys, which he cuts out to separate the models from the décor and then repaints in bright colours. His works were exhibited in France and abroad.

Emmanuelle MAFILLE

Mafille is a self-taught artist who embarked on her career without benefit of schooling. She took up photography at the age of 22. After being published as a full-page spread in l’Autre journal, Mafille received numerous commissions for fashion magazines. Her figures float in a poetic world of music and freedom where space and time are de-materlised. The creator of Pepe review, her work belongs as much to the world of art as to fashion illustration, fashion and photography.

Stephane MANEL

Graduated from ESAG (Penninghen) in Paris, Manel worked as a graphic designer for Tricatel (Bertrand Burgalat) from 1999 to 2002, after his post as artistic director Virgin France. Manel is continually on the move, creating designs all over the world, putting on exhibitions or contributing to numerous magazines, particularly in Japan, where he has an increasing popularity.

Monsieur Z

Postgraduate diploma (DESS) in synthesised imagery at the University Strasbourg, Graduate diploma (BTS) in Visual Expression at the Estienne Higher School of Graphic Arts. The Artistic Director with the RSCG advertising agency (Caïman group BDDP Ansttet), Monsieur Z has been working as a freelance illustrator since 1997. He has created his own brand that covers a whole range of products reflecting his unique style. His animated cartoons and video adverts are commonly shown on cinema and TV.


Having started her career in publishing particularly for children, Montoriol went on to work in the press and advertising. The graduate from ESAG first applied her drawing skills to fashion illustration during her work with United Arrows (Japan). At present, she is also developing textile illustration.


Studied in the Applied Arts in Paris, Nawel was a stylist for Guy Laroche men’s wear collections, then photo stylist, costume designer, casting and production for Hermès by Martin Margiela, and press officer for Chachnil. At present, Nawel is creating illustrations that combine her classical arts training (painting, nudes and portraits) with the ephemeral fantasies of fashion. With her mix of techniques (academic oil painting, photography, collage, etc.), Nawel has invented a highly personal style that seeks to arouse emotions as well as reflections that reach beyond appearances.


From the Olivier de Serres School of Applied Arts in Paris, Perron began her career as a stylist with Kenzo (accessories, then knitwear). She also designs footwear for Freelance. After creating her own “Top Snob” column in Figaroscope, she produced the “j’me l’fais” and “do- don’t” columns in Jalouse magazine.


Stylist for Gilles Rosier, then for Martine Sitbon, and illustrator for John Galliano with Christian Dior, Rivrain produced his first fashion illustrations while working with the Yazbukey, the two Ottoman princesses of French fashion. His playful, sensual and gently humorous images are always profoundly in tune with the spirit of fashion.

Online 10/12/2006

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